Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP)

The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) is a collection of historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984.

Historical Records of NSW and Australia

These volumes of official records were the forerunner of the AJCP in the days before microfilm. Records were first copied by hand by the NSW Government Archivist, James Bonwick, in what became known as the Bonwick transcripts. These transcripts were later published in 7 volumes between 1892-1901 as the Historical Records of New South Wales (HRNSW)

The volumes cover the period of Captain Cook 1762-1780 (volume 1, part 1) to the Governorship of William Bligh and part way through the Governorship of Lachlan Macquarie 1809-1811 (volume 7). 

After Federation the Federal Government took over the project and published a further 37 volumes to include the other Australian colonies, The Historical Records of Australia (HRA).

HRNSW and HRA are primarily despatches of Governors of the Australian colonies to and from the Colonial Office in London. These document all aspects of colonial life from 1788 to the granting of responsible government in 1855.

HRNSW and HRA remain a popular method of accessing governor’s despatches because they are so well indexed.

The Despatches are selected and edited transcripts of the original documents and contain errors. They should always be checked against the originals in the Colonial Office for accuracy.


Historical Records of New South Wales (HRNSW)

Search the detailed index at the back of each volume of Historical Records of New South Wales to access the content of the despatches between NSW governors and the Colonial Office in London dealing with all aspects of colonial life between 1788-1811. You will find index entries under names of individuals as well as subjects including applications to emigrate, convicts, land grants, regiments, ships and much more.

It is often the enclosures accompanying each despatch that are of most interest - these contain statistical returns, records of employment, letters and petitions from individuals, even records of births, deaths and marriages.

Note this collection comprises selected and edited transcripts of the original documents and may not include the enclosures (indicated with an asterisk*). You will then need to find the originals in CO 201: NSW Original Correspondence (See AJCP Colonial Office handbook for details)

Note the 7 volumes of Historical Records of New South Wales are on the Open Access shelves in the Special Collections area. You can also access HRNSW online.


Historical Records of Australia (HRA)

Search the detailed index at the back of each volume of Historical Records of Australia to access the content of the despatches between the governors of the Australian colonies and the Colonial Office in London dealing with all aspects of colonial life between 1788-1842. You will find index entries under names of individuals as well as subjects including applications to emigrate, convicts, land grants, regiments, ships and much more.

It is often the enclosures accompanying each despatch that are of most interest - these contain statistical returns, records of employment, letters and petitions from individuals, even records of births, deaths and marriages.

Note this collection comprises selected and edited transcripts of the original documents and may not include the enclosures (indicated with an asterisk*). You will then need to find the originals in CO 201: NSW Original Correspondence; CO 309: Victoria, CO 280: Tasmania, CO 13: South Australia, CO 18: Western Australia (See AJCP Colonial Office handbook for details)

Note the 37 volumes of HRA are on the Open Access shelves in the Special Collections area. You can also access HRA online.